Censorship and Banned Books: Tactics for Defending Intellectual Freedom: On-Demand Course

Learn tangible ways to handle censorship, find allies, and ensure your library policies are up to date. 




Course Description 

Session Recordings:
Accessible for six months

The last few years have seen a drastic uptick in book bans and curriculum challenges. As a librarian, teacher, administrator, or trustee, it can be difficult to know your options for managing these challenges and advocating for intellectual freedom and diverse educational materials. This course will focus on proactive preparation to ensure you are set up for success. 

In this on-demand online course, you will learn tangible ways to handle censorship, including tips for finding allies and building coalitions, tactics for board meetings, and strategies to  ensure your library policies are up to date to address intellectual freedom. The course covers best practices for engaging and educating stakeholders in your organization to ensure everyone is equipped with appropriate responses and prepared when challenges arise. 

This is an on-demand course made up of recorded instructional presentations (with all materials accessible for six months). Don’t miss this opportunity!





When you sign up early, you’ll have immediate access to our Early Access On-Demand Resources—a series of webinars from past Library Journal and School Library Journal courses—to explore at your own pace

Who should take this course?

Any librarian or educator who needs support preparing for or dealing with current book bans and curriculum challenges. This course will include takeaways for all levels of library personnel. 

Course Features 

This is an on-demand course made up of recorded instructional presentations (with all materials accessible for six months). Don’t miss this opportunity!

This on-demand online course includes:

  • Recorded sessions: Guest speaker presentations by leaders in their field. (All session recordings have on-demand access for six months.) 

  • Early access on-demand resources: Access to a series of past live session archives from Library Journal and School Library Journal courses to explore at your own pace. 

  • Online Classroom: The virtual learning platform that holds all course content and is accessible for six months after the course ends.


Expected time commitment

If you attend or watch the recordings of all live sessions, you'll spend approximately 4 hours on this course. You'll earn 4 hours of PD credit and a Library Journal certificate of completion. 

On-demand access

All guest speaker session recordings are available on demand for six months as a part of your purchase.

Certificate of completion 

Complete the course and earn 4 professional development credit hours. We provide a certificate that is emailed to you. 


All guest speaker sessions feature live captioning and are made available on demand after the initial broadcast. Please email libraryjournal@edmaker.co upon registration if you require any special accommodations and we will make our best efforts to facilitate them.


For support with online courses, please contact libraryjournal@edmaker.co.




Group Rates

We offer discounts for groups of 3 or more. 

For larger groups of 15 or more, we offer the option to apply group rates across multiple courses to receive significant discounts. For more information, select “Bulk Course Credits Packages” in the form below. 

Request a group discount!


By registering for this event you confirm that you have read and agree to our Code of Conduct.





On-Demand Program


Session 1 | Proactive Resistance: Policies, Procedures, and Protocols 

Whether you’re preparing for challenges or you’re already dealing with them, this session will give you the practical tools you need to manage censorship. You will learn innovative policy ideas to reduce and resist censorship in your area, as well as strategies for auditing your current practices to ensure they will adequately defend intellectual freedom in your area. You will leave this session with new ideas for streamlined procedures and protocols that you can establish in your library to help you resist book bans and defend the right to read.


Lori Fisher, State Librarian, Maine


Session 2 | Stronger Together: Building Community, Coalitions, and Allies

Defending intellectual freedom can’t be the job of just one person. This session will teach you how to find allies inside and outside of your library or school, build coalitions, gain local legislative support, and work as a community to combat censorship challenges. You will leave with shared resources and tools for how to connect with others to drive change in your community.


Lisa R. Varga, MLS (she, her) Executive Director at Virginia Library Association; 2024 Librarian of the Year, Library Journal


Session 3 | How to Create and Advocate for Inclusivity Despite Censorship 

Book challenges and censorship disproportionately target and affect books by and about LBGTQIA+, BIPOC, and other marginalized identities. As a librarian, how can you continue to create and advocate for inclusive programs and collections even and especially when your organization is facing censorship? Hear from a panel of librarians and join the discussion during a facilitated Q&A.   


Hal Patnott, Rainbow Services Librarian

Cicely Lewis, 2020 SLJ School Librarian of the Year, is the media specialist at Meadowcreek High School in Norcross, GA


Session 4 | External Communications: How to Become FOIA and Media Ready

One challenge of censorship issues is knowing when and how to craft external communications. This session will help you know how to address the media as well as how to create systems in your library to ensure you’re ready to address FOIA requests efficiently and effectively. 


Julie M. Milavec, (she, her hers) Library Director, Downers Grove Public Library

Cindy Khatri, Marketing & Communications Manager, Downers Grove Public Library


Session 5 | How to Talk about Censorship: Effective Messaging and Rhetoric

Learn how to talk about censorship with patrons and your community in a rhetorically and politically effective way. This session will discuss how best to communicate the value of libraries and frame the conversation around censorship in a way that brings people together in common ground. 


Rory Steele, Executive Director, Freedom to Learn Advocates


Session 6 | Protecting Yourself Amid Censorship and Defamation Attacks

Too often, librarians and educators are being publicly targeted by people attempting to advance censorship. This session will teach you how to protect yourself online from doxxing and other harassment. You will also learn strategies for setting and maintaining boundaries, advocating for yourself in the workplace, and prioritizing wellness through rest and connection to others through affinity groups.


Amanda Jones, Teacher-Librarian,  2021 SLJ Co-Librarian of the Year, a 2021 LJ Mover and Shaker, and the 2020 Louisiana School Librarian of the Year


Session 7 | Proactive Governance: How to Prepare for and Handle Problems in Your Board Meetings

Learn tangible tools you can use and actions you can take to help manage disruptions to your board meetings. Whether you’re facing internal challenges, external challenges, or both, you will leave this session prepared with best practices to keep your governance on track. 


Amanda Vazquez, Library Director, Dubuque County Library District





Online Course Preview

A preview of how we build your library skills and bring inspiration to your projects with our online learning experience.


Course Features


Live session with Andrea Blackman and Tasneem Ansariyah Grace

Recorded Guest Speakers Sessions

  • Guest speaker presentations by leaders in their field. 
  • Audience participation in Q&A and discussion with guest speakers.


Recordings of guest speakers

Recordings Available On Demand

  • Sessions are recorded for on demand access for six months after the course ends.


Asynchronous workshop

Online Classroom 

  • The virtual learning platform that holds all course content and is accessible for six months after the course ends. 
  • Live session recordings.
  • Peer conversation via discussion forums.


Early Access On-Demand Resources

Early Access On-Demand Resources

  • Bonus: Register early and get access to a series of past live session archives from Library Journal and School Library Journal courses to explore at your own pace. 
  • Some courses include supporting resources in the online classroom.




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